National Album Review: O.N.I.F.C by Wiz Khalifa

Posted on January 21, 2013 in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture
By Sam Hill

“Used to be the kid, now homie I’m the man,” raps Wiz Khalifa on “Let It Go” from his latest and long-anticipated album O.N.I.F.C (Only N*gga In First Class).

Wiz has finally recovered from his sluggish Atlantic Records debut, Rolling Papers, a admitted mistake that Wiz discussed in an open letter to fans earlier in the year. On O.N.I.F.C, he returns to the melodic tunes and chill vibes of Kush and Orange Juice, leaving pop as an experiment of the past.

If there one thing Wiz has going for him it’s that his flow is among the most unique in the game. His style is deliberate and consistent throughout O.N.I.F.C. He’s instantly recognizable, like Snoop Dogg or Asher Roth. You know what’s coming.

The production on this album is out of this world. From galactic, hypnotic head rush that is “Fall Asleep” to the upbeat, staccato synths on “Work Hard, Play Hard,” it’s all fresh. I.D. Labs works the magic on multiple tracks, while other notable producers include Pharrell Williams, Drumma Boy and Sledgren. Each beat is progressive in it’s own way and the sheer myriad of style makes O.N.I.F.C one of the most well-produced albums of the year. Hands down.

As per usual, listeners need to accept the fact that Wiz is the Prince of Weed Rap. Combine his love for marijuana with the fact that he’s now filthy rich, and you get an album that’s lacking in lyrical content. “Mary x3” on the deluxe edition of the album is an ode to the herb, and if you want to listen hear about his financial situation, check out “Got Everything” and “It’s Nothing.” Sure, the unrestrained stonerisms are interesting and add a thoughtful line here and there, but the philosophical musings and words of wisdom are mostly kept to his Twitter account this time around. Weed and cold, hard cash rule the rap world, so if you’re afraid of feeling that contact high, stay away from Wiz on a beat.

Wiz is going to do what he wants to do. He’s a weirdo who loves weed and he’s not afraid to say it – over and over again. And it works. I don’t know why it does, but it does. And I love it.

Welcome to first class, Wiz. Get comfortable.